Sunday, November 7, 2010

Term Limits For Broward County Commissioners Held Unconstitutional

Update: On August 10, 2011, the Fourth District released its opinion in Snipes v. Telli (4D10-4687) that reversed the trial court's opinion discussed below. The Fourth District held: For  these reasons, we decline  to extend  the holding  in Cook to apply to members of a county’s governing body under article VIII, section 1(e), Florida  Constitution,  a n d   hold  that  the  voters  may  amend  a   county’s charter,  if  they choose,  to  impose  term  limits on county commissioners.  We choose not to certify a question to the Florida Supreme Court.   If we have incorrectly delineated the scope of Cook, our failure to apply it here would be in conflict with that opinion, so that the Supreme Court could take  discretionary  jurisdiction  of  this  case.  See  Fla.  R.  A p p .   P. 9.030(a)(2)(iii),(iv)."

The original post is below:

On election day, Broward County Circuit Judge Carol-Lisa Phillips entered an order finding the three term limit for Broward County commissioners unconstitutional.  Judge Phillips relied upon the Florida Supreme Court's decision in Cook v. City of Jacksonville and DeBlaker v. Eight is Enough in Pinellas, 823 So. 2d 86 (Fla. 2002) as controlling authority.  In Cook, the Florida Supreme Court stated:
We hold that a term limit provision is a disqualification from election to office and that article VI, section 4(a), Florida Constitution, provides the exclusive roster of those disqualifications which may be permissibly imposed.  We also hold that article VI, section 4(b), Florida Constitution, provides those positions authorized by the constitution upon which a term limit provision may be permissibly imposed.
According to THIS Sun Sentinel article, there are six other Florida counties with term limits for commissioners: Palm Beach, Orange, Hillsborough, Volusia, Brevard and Clay. 

There have been a number of articles on the Broward term limit decision which are linked below:
Judge Phillips order is below:
Telli v Snipes, 10-7095, Term Limit Order

Prior to the ruling, there were articles relating to the lawsuit which are linked below:


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